Revisit your childhood with a classic dish like macaroni and cheese -- but upgrade beyond the packaged variety to suit your adult palette. In this case, try a spicier recipe infused with beer! Prepare this Drunken Mac & Cheese and see for yourself.
This macaroni and cheese recipe is decidedly different from what comes out of the blue box. This version is still cheesy and gooey, but the dish has considerably modern flavor. In other words, the sauce is enriched beyond the simply dairy ingredients of milk, cheese and butter. Most notably, beer has been introduced! A quality IPA (or India Pale Ale) is recommended, as such beer is aggressively hoppy, strong in flavor, and will subtly yet distinctly vary the tone of the sauce. Lean into this off-note flavor by incorporating the tanginess of dijon mustard into the cheese sauce as well, which balances the bitterness of the IPA.
With jalapeno peppers, cayenne pepper and paprika, this Drunken Mac & Cheese is pleasantly spicy. Should you be a fan of the heat, however, you can always increase the spicy factor by leaving some (or all, in extreme cases) of the interior jalapenos intact. The inner oils, membrane and seeds are the primary sources of a jalapeno's heat and thus regulate the degree of heat in the final dish.
Save this recipe for whenever you are craving something spicy, something cheesy, or just because you have the drunken munchies! This Drunken Mac & Cheese is sure to hit the spot.
- 2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar, grated
- 1/2 cup gruyere, grated
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup beer (IPA recommended)
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 4 tbsp butter, separated
- 3 tbsp flour
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/2 lb large elbow macaroni
Prepare the elbow macaroni according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, melt a tablespoon of butter. Lightly saute the jalapenos, red pepper and onion until tender. Set aside.
Next, melt the remaining butter in the same saute pan. Mix in the flour, whisking constantly until a thick paste develops. Carefully add the milk, beer and dijon mustard, stirring until combined and slightly thickened. Remove from heat.
Add the cheese, onion powder, cayenne pepper and paprika. Stir together until the cheese has melted into a sauce. Toss in the vegetables and noodles. Taste, and season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve immediately.